Thursday, May 08, 2008

Crossing Paths

Several years ago I was on my way from the Denver airport to the DONA conference hotel via the Super Shuttle when I was fortunate enough to share the ride with Christina Smillie. Of course we started chatting and it took me awhile to realize that she was one of the keynote speakers. But she was so down-to-earth, friendly, enthusiastic, it made the "longer than long" shuttle at rush hour enjoyable! And she brought the same characteristics to her talk and to her approach to Baby-led breastfeeding - The Mother Baby Dance. I was sold and she affirmed so much of what I felt in my lactation practice. I had even borrowed a technique from Australia that when things weren't working out, to put mom in a tub with her baby upright between her breasts to just be calm, together and relaxed....and often breastfeeding would take off. I thought it might be the water or the fact that mom was relaxed in tub....but now I know that it was the connection and calming/listening to the baby that was the magic!

I have been a lactation consultant for almost 15 years and it's now the final months when I am on my hunt for those CERPS for recertification. So because Dr. Smillie was speaking in Portland this week and I have a wonderful friend/Passioneer there (that knows all the best restaurants), I decided to go. And I love serendipity! I was stopping by friends in Olympia WA after the workshop. I saw Dr. Smillie in the hall, suitcase in hand and thanked her for an inspirational talk and by chance she shared that she too was heading to Olympia to see her son! I offered her a ride instead of the train and once again we were on the highway together! The time sped by and I felt so lucky! (Of course I was kicking myself for not throwing out the collection of Starbucks cups and vacuuming the yellow lab dog hair but I learned she didn't mind....)

So why am I sharing this? Often times new people to the birth/breastfeeding movement, put people on pedestals and may refrain from reaching out person to person.... And I want to reinforce that the leaders in this amazing field of birth/breastfeeding/babies are also people and for the most part are just like you and I - trying hard to impact change in our own way. And we all enjoy sharing/being offered a ride or a conversation with a cup of tea or some connection to be re-energized.

Now it's time to go purge those cups off the floormats.....

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